Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library Print Email


Young children need to master five important skills
before they are ready to learn to read. 

TALKING           SINGING            READING            WRITING            PLAYING

These five practices will help nurture children's desire to read and prepare their young minds
for the adventures of reading.

Whatcom County Libraries support reading readiness in many ways.

  • Sing and play at a storytime at your local library.
  • Take home books you can read and talk about together.
  • Draw and write at a special library program.



Mother talking to her baby


Talking is one of the very first activities that parents
can do to support early learning skills.  Children learn
language by listening to others around them speak.



When children listen to spoken words they learn:

  • How words sound.
  • The meanings of words.
  • Words can be put together to communicate ideas and information.
Tips for parents:
  • Ask questions and listen to the answers.
  • Children learn by talking.
  • Talk about books that you've read.
  • If you speak more than one language, use your first language most often.  



Singing is not only fun, it's also a natural way to learn language and boost vocabulary.Mother singing to her baby 

When children sing they:

  • Develop listening skills.
  • Pay attention to the rhythms and rhymes of language.
  • Hear the different parts of words.
Tips for parents:
  • Clap along to songs to help children hear syllables and
    improve motor skills.
  • Sing songs more than once.



Family reading together


Reading and sharing books together with children
excites them, so they'll want to read on their own.




When families read together, children:

  • Expand vocabulary.
  • Learn how books and written language work.
  • Learn how stories have a beginning, a middle and an end.
Tips for parents:
  • Share stories that you love.
  • Talk about illustrations.
  • Ask children to turn the pages.
  • Underline repeated phrases with your finger as you read.



Writing goes along with reading.  Writing also includes drawing and telling stories about the pictures.Mother, father, and son with paper and pencil 

Drawing and writing help children: 

  • Develop hand-eye coordination to develop the fine-motor skills they need in order to write.
Tips for parents:
  • Encourage children to sign their names on drawings or
    label the different parts.
  • Scribbling is good - this is the way children learn to write.



Mother and baby playing with blocks


Playing is the work of children.  It is one of the very
best ways to learn language and literacy skills.




Playing helps children:

  • Practice putting thoughts into words.
  • Develop narrative skills.
  • Act out real situations and use imagination to solve problems.
Tips for parents:
  • Don't spend a lot of money on toys - kids can do a lot with a stick, a box, or pots and pans.


Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® is a program of the Association for Library Service to Children and Public Library Association, divisions of the American Library Association. Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library® is a registered trademark and is used with permission.